AmeriCorps Highlight: Kyle Lee

Do you you ever wonder what happened to those awesome AmeriCorps staff who dedicated a year (or more!) to Trinity's Outreach Programs? For the month of February, we will be highlighted a few of our past members. For the next two weeks, we'll check-in with our current AmeriCorps before the release of a Trinity Outreach publication, highlighting the service of many past AmeriCorps staff at Trinity.

Kyle Lee has been an AmeriCorps member at Trinity since 2014, serving in the Learning Center. Originally from Hawaii, Kyle is a recent UPS Alumnus. Next fall, Kyle will be the Nutrition Coordinator for FoodMania, a WSU research curriculum. Later, Kyle plans to attend grad school, studying dietetics/food science.

Last year, as a first year AmeriCorps member, I worked hard to form lasting relationships with the middle school students at the Learning Center. Now,  as a returning AmeriCorps member, I am finding new ways to build relationships with students, while also maintaining the previous connections I have established. 

At the Learning Center, it's essential to establish a positive working relationship with students. Moreover, a working relationship is successful when trust is built and maintained between the mentor and the student. Our goal is to support and aid each student in their academic progress as well as their social development.

Located at Jason Lee Middle School on Monday - Thursday, and at Trinity on Fridays, Trinity partners with Peace Community Center to provide a safe space for approximately 50-60 Jason Lee students a day to receive academic support. At the middle school, during the first hour of a 2-hour long program, students attend their scheduled enrichment session. Enrichments resemble after-school clubs and these sessions range from outdoor activities to youth development. At the end of the first hour, each member of the Learning Center will gather in the library where mentors are ready to assist students on their homework. Our goal at the Learning Center is to support and aid each student in their academic progress and social development.

As I reflect on this, my second year of service at Trinity, my big takeaway is that relationships with students are not always easy to make, but there is no better reward than when a student looks up to you and says, "Thank you."